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West Nile Virus on The Rise in Chester County

Two men have now been hospitalized with the virus in nearby Delaware County.

West Nile Virus cases are on the rise in Chester County.

Two men in Delaware County are hospitalized after testing positive for West Nile virus, according to the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program.

The men, ages 55 and 62, are the third and fourth cases of human West Nile documented this summer. Health officials said that although anyone is at risk, older adults and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk.

Last week, a woman from Franklin County and another woman from Lancaster County tested positive for the virus, according to the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program.

State and county officials refused to say where in Delaware County the men are from, citing health information privacy, or HIPAA.

“The surveillance program in Pennsylvania is showing higher numbers of WNV-infected mosquitoes than any other summer since monitoring began 13 years ago. We don’t want to alarm people, but it’s important to take precautions. Prevention is the best treatment. The risk for WNV infection is highest during August and September, so we are in prime season, and the risk doesn’t end until the first hard frost,” said Delaware County Senior Medical Advisor Dr. George Avetian in a press release.

Symptoms

People can have a mild case of West Nile and not realize it. Mild symptoms, according to the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program, include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body Aches
  • Occasional Skin Rash
  • Occasional Swollen Lymph Glands

More severe symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • High Fever
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Stupor
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Paralysis

Aside from the two humans cases, 84 positive mosquito tests and one positive bird test for the state were also reported Monday, including positive mosquito tests from Easttown, East Goshen, West Goshen and Willistown townships in Chester County and Haverford and Radnor townships in Delaware County.

Here is what the how many positive West Nile virus have been reported so far this year:


Mosquito Avian Human Chester County 71 2 0 Delaware County 101 1 2 Montgomery County 56 0 0 Philadelphia 79 0 0

Statistics provided by DEP.


There were six human cases of West Nile virus statewide in 2011, but none in Delaware County.

Spraying

The Department of Environmental Protection has been scheduling many sprayings throughout the state and Thursday, they will be spraying in Delaware County in portions of Upper Chichester and Bethel townships to control adult mosquito populations.

The treatment will be administered with truck-mounted equipment to spray open spaces in residential and recreational areas. The equipment dispenses Biomist 3+15 at a rate of .75 ounces per acre, according to the DEP.

Prevention

Tips from Delaware County to eliminate standing water include:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
  • Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have accumulated on your property.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of containers that are left outdoors.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis.
  •  Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows and birdbaths when not in use.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used.
Marc August 14, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Bob, I think the chart info needs to be updated - the 2 human cases were ascribed to Delaware County.
Bob Byrne August 14, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Hi Marc, I think that's what's indicated. The two cases in the chart in Chesco are Avian.

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